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Vendor: David Platt
Publication Date: 2010
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It's easy for American Christians to forget how Jesus said his followers would actually live, what their new lifestyle would actually look like. They would, he said, leave behind security, money, convenience, even family for him. They would abandon everything for the gospel. They would take up their crosses daily...
BUT WHO DO YOU KNOW WHO LIVES LIKE THAT? DO YOU?
In Radical, David Platt challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated the gospel to fit our cultural preferences. He shows what Jesus actually said about being his disciple--then invites you to believe and obey what you have heard. And he tells the dramatic story of what is happening as a "successful" suburban church decides to get serious about the gospel according to Jesus.
Finally, he urges you to join in The Radical Experiment -- a one-year journey in authentic discipleship that will transform how you live in a world that desperately needs the Good News Jesus came to bring.
A life-long learner, David has earned two undergraduate and three advanced degrees. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (A.B.J.) from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Theology (Th.M) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary as Dean of Chapel and Assistant Professor of Expository Preaching and Apologetics, Staff Evangelist at Edgewater Baptist Church in New Orleans, and eight years as the Senior Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL. David has written several books, Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me and most recently Counter Culture (to be released February 2015).
David founded Radical (Radical.net), a ministry devoted to serving churches and disseminating disciple-making resources toward the end that the gospel might be made known in all nations.
David and his wife Heather have four children, Caleb, Joshua, Mara Ruth, and Isaiah.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Platt, pastor of a 4,000 member church in Alabama, attacks the "affluent model of Christianity and church" and describes what radical obedience to Jesus in todays culture might look like. In a straightforward manner with a sense of humility, he points out blind spots in American Christianity. In a voice of urgency he urges Christians to reframe our thinking and orientation to life. Instead of asking, "What do we need?" we should be asking, "What can we give?"
Platt makes his case by pointing to historical figures and ordinary people who have done what is radical in obedience to biblical mandates, counter to the world's definition of success. He also uses biblical examples and abundant Scripture references to show that "the mark of Christ followers is that their hearts are in heaven and their treasures are spent there." He closes with a challenge for his readers to participate in The Radical Experiment. This one-year challenge has the following five components: pray for the entire world, read through the entire Word, sacrifice your money for a specific purpose, spend your time in another context, and commit your life to a multiplying community.
Radical asks tough questions and presses for a response. It will step on toes and call many readers up short, but earnest Christians cannot read it and remain unchanged. It has the potential to have the same kind of impact as other widely read, influential Christian books such as The Purpose Driven Life, In His Steps, and The Prayer of Jabez. Highly recommended. Dr. Pamela Jordan-Long, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"In his compelling new book, Radical, David Platt delivers a powerful picture of the church in America today that, on key points, stands in sharp contrast to what the Bible shows us about the person and purpose of Jesus Christ. David challenges Christians to wake up, trade in false values rooted in the American dream, and embrace the notion that each of us is blessed by God for a global purposeto make Christs glory known to all the nations! This is a must-read for every believer!"
Wess Stafford, president and CEO, Compassion Intl.
"We have moved into a generation of young leaders who have a passion to surrender the American dream if necessary in order to embrace fully, compassionately, and wholeheartedly a bigger dreamthe Great Commission. I have never been challenged by an author more than I have by David Platt. Read Radical, be blessed, and be changed."
Johnny Hunt, president, Southern Baptist Convention, and pastor, First Baptist Church of Woodstock
"Radical will cause you to bounce on a spectrum between two words: ouch and amen. Tough truths do that. They challenge us to examine our lives and then choose the lasting over the temporary. Read Radical if youre ready to live differently."
Gregg Matte, senior pastor, First Baptist Church of Houston
"David Platts book will leave anyone who sincerely engages with his challenge dissatisfiedand faced with a decision: What will authentic faith look like in my life? This book has the potential to revitalize churches today to practice a radical, biblical lifestyle that can transform society and reach a lost world."
Jerry Rankin, president, International Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention
"The church of the Lord Jesus has been seduced by a skilled seductress: the American dream. David Platt exposes this enemy of authentic Christianity and provides a way of escape through a radical faith that leads to a radical obedience. I am not the same after reading it. I trust that will also be true for you."
Daniel L. Akin, president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
"It is almost impossible to keep the idols of our own culture from influencing us, whether we want it to happen or not. This is certainly true when it comes to the so-called American dream. We need our eyes opened! We need to be called out! In this challenging and thoughtful book, David Platt shows us the way to live for Someone and something bigger."
Darrin Patrick, founding pastor, The Journey, St. Louis
"Sometimes people will commend a book by saying, You wont want to put it down. I cant say that about this book. Youll want to put it down, many times. If youre like me, as you read David Platts Radical, youll find yourself uncomfortably targeted by the Holy Spirit. Youll see just how acclimated you are to the American dream. But youll find here another Way, one you know to be true, because youve heard it before in the words of the Lord Jesus, perhaps most forcefully in the simple call Follow me."
Russell D. Moore, dean, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
"Through solid examination of the Scriptures and compelling testimonies from believers enduring persecution, my friend David Platt pulls back the curtain on subtle dangers weakening the church in our Western culture. Radical is the urgent call we need to care more about the spiritually lost and physically impoverished people of the world."
Ed Stetzer, president, LifeWay Research
Justin JosephAge: 25-34Gender: male3 Stars Out Of 5Are David Platt's "Radical" Ideas Biblical?July 2, 2014Justin JosephAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 2Source: http://bit[dot]ly/1lUQlqN
Radical, by definition, is to be concerned with or tending to concentrate on fundamental aspects of a matter. This is what Pastor David Platt (Brook Hills church) calls American Christians to be as far as following and obeying Whom he believes is the "real Jesus" in his book titled by the same word. What does being radical look like, according to Platt? Well, the book gave me the impression that it's carrying a daily burning passion for missions and serving the "less fortunate" so they'll believe the gospel. Unfortunately, despite its noble desire to jolt American Christians who don't seem to mind their spiritual slumber and apathy, I think Radical comes off as shame therapy and wanting to guilt trip said Christians. And I also think that some of the Scripture you encounter does not teach what the book suggests it does. Radical, while hardly a bust, is one of few books I've walked away from disappointed.
I agree with Platt that it's sinful for a Christian living in the United States to pursue the "American Dream", to become wealthy and/or famous for the sake of it. The concept, while not inherently wrong, does promotes self-aggrandizement. The idea is to climb the income and corporate ladders, acquire a national or global reputation, collect expensive stuff, and beat everyone else to it all in order to enjoy luxury and unprecedented comfort as others gaze at you with envy. It is possible to become wealthy to the glory of God, but definitely not fame. Regardless, the core principles of the American Dream do not line up with the gospel's demands on one's life. Yet I also think it isn't wise or encouraging to assume that Christians living in America are by default pursuing such worldliness, and I got that vibe a lot reading Radical.
Take wealth and possessions for example. Platt references the conversation between Jesus Christ and the rich, young ruler in Mark 10 as a biblical mandate for ridding oneself of possessions. Yet wealth and possessions, just like the American Dream, aren't inherently wrong. A believer in this day and age can be wealthy and have things, and still be godly, especially if they obey the command to share it (I John 3:17). The promise of material gain was exclusive to the Old Covenant; there is no guarantee of it now, but that doesn't mean God is opposed to wealthy Christians. Ultimately I didn't understand what Platt was aiming for in pointing out Mark 10. Should Christians feel bad about having things?
How much is too much? Is there a biblical balance? Is it wrong to have a nice vehicle, a comfortable house, a stable nest egg? Should believers stick to thrift stores and making meals from scratch? Will people believe the gospel simply because we give up our things? These are questions that crossed my mind, and I'm not confident they were answered.
With respect to Mark 10, I believe Jesus is actually exposing a deadly idol in the self-righteous rich man's heart. The ruler believed he was rightly-related to God due to his wealth. Yet Jesus was not demanding that he unload. The text implies that the fellow was greedy, but Christ wasn't after that.
Instead, Zacchaeus is an exemplary example of what sharing looks like. Looked upon as a disgusting, extorting tax collector_ Jesus changed the heart of the crooked businessman who then went above and beyond repaying those whom he cheated. The key is he did so of his own accord, because he was thankful for and loved Jesus, not because some local rabbi demanded it. The Macedonians whom Paul writes about in II Corinthians 8 are another great example of giving from the heart. Essentially, we must have the maturity to evaluate the things we have on an individual basis according to what Scripture truly teaches. Is every thing I possess a necessity? Of course not. Are they blessings from God? You bet. Do I use them for sinful purposes at times? I'm sure I do. Should that disqualify me from having them in the first place? Well, for that matter no one should own anything. This is what I think each believer needs to consider in light of their possessions.
I also think some of Platt's views about the world at large are misinformed. Mercy missions may have value, but poverty and disease are altogether impossible to eliminate. Both exist as a result of the curse. Christ even made clear [to Judas Iscariot] that the poor would always be among us. It's strange then to suggest that American Christians have an extraordinary obligation to shoulder the burden of fighting hunger and disease in "less-developed" countries. Don't get me wrong; I would never criticize helping the truly needy, but that isn't a command you find in the Great Commission. Ironically, the "American Dream" in a way actually helps Christians to help the needy! By doing business in the United States, we create opportunities (read: jobs) for people to be lifted out of poverty and help civilization battle disease. Nonetheless, God isn't surprised by these hardships. He actually ordains them, and is in full control of them. He never intended for there to be enough wealth and possessions in the world to ensure that no one goes hungry, thirsty, or without basic shelter. Is it sad? It is to most people, but it's not as though God is cruel by allowing it. Soon these problems won't even exist, but for now God's edict is for people to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, not to be comfortable and well-off their entire lives. Plus, He promises to provide what He knows every last person needs. God has placed us here for a different purpose.
That purpose is to live out the gospel, and share it. And I do agree with Platt that Christians ought to burn with much more desire to spread the truth of Christ. But notice how I didn't emphasize "American" there. This is the job of all Christians, not just those that happen to reside in the United States. If God calls me one day to a foreign field, I hope I respond in faith and obedience, but I'm not going to go somewhere just because I'm an American Christian. To that end, I find David's claim that there are at least 4.5 billion unsaved people in the world just odd. I don't know how he knows that, or how all the people that he mentions are now genuine Christians due to the mission work done by the people of Brook Hills. I'm definitely thankful for their work, but let's leave the judging of who's saved and not saved to God.
I'm not surprised if you're thinking by now that I'm suggesting Radical is a waste of time to read. I don't think it is at all. I appreciate all the examples of Brook Hills mobilizing to care for those in the members' local communities, those internationally, and how the gospel has been given through it all. I just respectfully disagree that it needs to be done according to the reasons discussed above and those I've not mentioned. Guilt is never a biblical motivation to live or give the gospel. I don't think that because others might be considered have-nots, or simply don't have as much, that Christians ought to empty their homes and/or financial accounts. Love and grace must be the driving forces behind any ministry. Any other reasons are unbiblical.
On the flip-side, if you're often or always after the latest and greatest toy, if you grumble at the thought of giving your monies to kingdom work, then David and I both invite you to allow God's Word to examine your heart. Instead, we ought to love serving Jesus Christ by serving His church, and of course demonstrate obedience to the Great Commission. We must care for others as He did.
Any decisions to give of things, money, time, etc., must be bathed in prayer by the believer. Usually choices along these lines are not so simple, and the consequences can be very unpleasant for choosing the wrong thing. I do think it would be exceedingly wonderful if more Christians were more radical for Jesus Christ, but as it stands, I don't think they necessarily need to be in the way Radical seems to want.
dcampWashingtonGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5This book will challenge you.December 30, 2013dcampWashingtonGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book leaves the reader with many points to ponder. It challenges the reader to think and grow in the understanding of Biblical truth and the impact the culture has on churches and individuals.
LuitiHastings, NYAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A read that challenges you to take a good lookDecember 7, 2013LuitiHastings, NYAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Platt shares some hard truths about the level of commitment to truly be like Jesus and what that really means to those of us who are used to worshipping Jesus from the comfort of our easy chairs in our warm living rooms sipping on our gourmet coffee and reading our leather gold leaf edged Bibles....truly being Christlike challenges us to be willing to step out of our comfort zone..walk away from the American dream and live like Jesus to make disciples from the four corners of the earth. It asks you to reevaluate just how committed are you to living like Jesus.
Becky WilliamsWilmington, NCAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5October 15, 2013Becky WilliamsWilmington, NCAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5When I was a child, my grandmother would say, "Clean your plate, there are starving children in Africa." I had no idea what that fact had to do with me. But today, I clearly see that it has everything to do with me. "Radical" puts into words what I feel in my heart. David Platt makes the case for the truth of my grandmothers words and makes me own that truth as a Christ follower. He challenges us to break free from the seclusion and comfort that has become the convenient church life in America. In my morning devotion I keep reading " for all nations." Over and over those words jump of the pages of my Bible. My husband and I participated in a "Daniel diet" a few weeks ago. That along with reading "Radical" has brought me to a new awareness of how gluttonous our society has become while others starve. How could Jesus be pleased with the USA? What have we done with the immense blessings God has provided?
So what I am saying is that I wish every Christian in the USA would read "Radical". We need to return to our grandmothers' insight and remember, there are starving children in Africa and prepare to move on that!
trying2run the raceBuffalo NYAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5deciphers the great commission+?s where you're at!August 23, 2013trying2run the raceBuffalo NYAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This was a hard hitting book that inspires as it questions what the American protestant church teaches in our comfortable pews, and asks you to explore w/the writer what the teachings of Christ and example of the initial church leaders believed and taught was the rewarding work that Jesus asks for us to do. I felt it took you one step further than the books "not a fan", and "christian atheist". It also helped me feel not as useless as I try to talk w/some of my coworkers and kids to develop and strengthen their understanding of our God and His Holy Word, instead of just trying to witness to others who don't seem ready to listen or consider Christ and what He's done for us. Making true disciples takes time and effort and is what we need to try and do---Let's not lose beginning believers to the wiles, false teachings (cults, evolution, cultural pleasures) and temptations that draw them away like seeds that start to grow only to fail because the soil their faith was in was too shallow to develop deep roots.
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